Contributor, Benzinga
October 23, 2023

The Wyoming Community Development Authority (WCDA) helps Wyoming residents buy homes. It provides low-interest single-family mortgages and home buyer education classes. Here's everything you need to know about a WCDA loan.

What Is a WCDA Loan?

The WCDA doesn’t directly offer mortgages. Instead, it offers mortgages through partner lenders. The WCDA determines the interest rate for its mortgages. It also determines the rules for who can qualify. It sponsors a few different loans as well as down payment assistance. 

WCDA Products

The WCDA offers several products to help make a home purchase more affordable. These include:

The Standard First Time Homebuyer product

This loan provides first time home buyers with low-interest rates. The mortgage is a 30-year mortgage, which means that if you make the minimum monthly payments, you will pay off the loan in 30 years. You can combine this loan with the Homestretch Down Payment Assistance loan. With this program, you can get a discount on your interest rate if you buy a WCDA-owned property. You may also get a discount if you are a veteran or current service member. 

The Spruce Up Loan

This loan is a unique product. It allows you to get financing for the purchase of a home and the rehabilitation of that home at the same time. The advantage of this loan is that you only have to pay closing costs once, rather than multiple times. The Spruce Up loan can be used for non-structural repairs to your home, such as plumbing, heating or air conditioning. You can repair or replace your roof, make your home more modern and energy efficient, and make your home more accessible. 

The Advantage Loan

You can use this product to purchase or refinance a home. It’s also not limited to first time home buyers. This product offers a low-interest rate and a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. 

The HFA Preferred loan

This product is also available to current home owners and first time home buyers. You can use this product to refinance loans or purchase a new home. You can use this product to purchase a manufactured home. 

The HomeStretch DPA Loan

This is a down payment assistance loan. You can use it with the First Time Homebuyer product or the Spruce Up loan. It has a 0% interest rate and no monthly payments. The loan can be up to $10,000. You must repay it when you sell, refinance or finish paying off the loan. 

The Amortizing DPA Loan

This is also a down payment assistance loan. This loan has a low fixed-interest rate. You can borrow up to $10,000 and pay it off over 10 years. You can use this loan with the Advantage loan or the HFA Preferred loan. 

The Mortgage Credit Certificate

This is a first time home buyer program. You can use the mortgage credit certificate to lower your Federal income tax liability. You can use this credit over the life of your mortgage. 

All of these programs can help keep your home buying costs down. You do have to meet certain requirements, though. 

Who Is Eligible for a WCDA Loan?

Many home buyers can qualify for a WCDA loan. The eligibility requirements vary by program. Here are the eligibility requirements:

First Time Home Buyer

The WCDA defines a first time home buyer as someone who hasn’t owned a home as a principal residence for 3 years. You must be a first time home buyer to qualify for:

  • The Standard First Time Homebuyer loan
  • The Spruce Up loan
  • The HomeStretch DPA loan
  • The Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC)

Income Limits

All of the WCDA’s programs have an income limit. The income limit varies by location and family size for the Standard First Time Homebuyer loan, the Spruce Up loan and the MCC. The income limit varies by location for the HFA Preferred program. The Advantage program has an income limit of $110,000, regardless of family size or location. The down payment assistance programs follow the income limits of the main mortgage product. If you apply for the HomeStretch DPA loan, you must meet the income limits of the Spruce Up loan or the Standard First Time Homebuyer loan. 

Credit Score

Some WCDA programs require a minimum credit score of 620. Your credit score is a number that gives lenders an idea of your credit history. The programs that require a 620 credit score are:

  • The HomeStretch DPA loan
  • The Amortizing DPA loan
  • The Advantage loan
  • The HFA Preferred loan

Home buyer Education

If you are a first time home buyer, you must complete a home buyer education class through the Wyoming Housing Network for all products. You will need to pay a modest fee for the class, but the certificate is good for 18 months. 

If you aren’t sure if you qualify, talk to a WCDA-approved lender to find out. 

WCDA Loan Requirements

WCDA loans also have requirements when it comes to the property. In general, the home must be your principal residence. This means that once you buy it, you have to live there. You can’t use a WCDA loan for a second home or investment property. The homes must be single-family homes on 6 acres or less. Some programs allow manufactured homes. The Standard First Time Homebuyer Program and the Spruce Up program have purchase price limits which vary by area. The WCDA loans provide down payment assistance program to eligible home buyers, helping them achieve homeownership.

The Best Mortgage Lenders for a WCDA Loan

The first step to getting a WCDA loan is contacting a lender. Here are the 5 best mortgage companies for a WCDA loan:

1st bank
securely through 1st bank's website

1. Best for Service: 1st Bank

The WCDA application process can be daunting. 1st Bank has branches throughout Wyoming, making it easier to talk to a real person when you want to. You can start an application online.

The 1st Bank website doesn’t offer a lot of information about its mortgages. It does have a handy checklist of items to bring to your meeting with the loan officer. Gathering your financial documents in advance can help speed up the mortgage process. 

First Interstate Bank
securely through First Interstate Bank's website

2. Best for Calculators: First Interstate Bank

Financial calculators are a great tool for figuring out mortgages. You can run comparisons of different down payments or different loan terms. First Interstate Bank is a WCDA lender with tons of calculators on its website. They also offer refinance loans with various loan terms.

It also offers conventional, FHA, VA and USDA mortgages so you can choose what’s best for you. First Interstate Bank has branches throughout Wyoming, so it’s easy to meet with a loan officer in person. 

Blue Federal Credit Union
securely through Blue Federal Credit Union's website

3. Best for Credit Union: Blue Federal Credit Union

Credit unions are not-for-profit institutions. They are owned by members and often offer lower rates on products. If you like the idea of working with a smaller institution, Blue Federal Credit Union is a great choice. It offers WCDA loans as conventional, FHA, VA and USDA mortgages.

You can start your loan application online. After that, a Blue Federal Credit Union loan officer will contact you to help walk you through the rest of the process. 

Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation
securely through Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation's website

4. Best for First Time Home Buyers: Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation

Fairway offers a wide variety of mortgage options, which makes it one of the best companies for first time home buyers. Even if a WCDA mortgage is your first choice, it’s always good to look at all your options. Fairway also has financial calculators on its website and educational resources for you to review.

Fairway offers WCDA mortgages, conventional mortgages, FHA mortgages, VA mortgages and USDA mortgages. It offers many of its products as fixed-rate or adjustable mortgages. 

Guild Mortgage
Best For
  • Closing Cost Credits

5. Best for Online: Guild Mortgage

You can complete your application online with Guild Mortgage. This allows you to easily upload documents without having to make copies or send faxes. Guild Mortgage offers a cheery, easy-to-navigate. You can explore your options with its mortgage calculators.

Guild Mortgage also has a variety of mortgage options so that you can compare WCDA products to FHA, VA, USDA and other mortgage options. 

Is a WCDA Loan Right for You?

WCDA loans have a lot to offer. The down payment assistance is especially helpful. It can be hard to save up for a down payment when life keeps throwing you curveballs. To decide whether a WCDA loan is right for you, talk to a few lenders. Let them know you’re interested in a WCDA loan, but you’re open to other options that might meet your needs too. 

A good lender will be able to show you different scenarios. This will help you make an informed decision about which loan program will best meet your needs. 

Frequently Asked Questions


How do I get pre-approved for a mortgage?


First, you need to fill out an application and submit it to the lender of your choice. For the application you need 2 previous years of tax returns including your W-2’s, your pay stub for past month, 2 months worth of bank statements and the lender will run your credit report. Once the application is submitted and processed it takes anywhere from 2-7 days to be approved or denied. Check out our top lenders and lock in your rate today!


How much interest will I pay on my mortgage?


Interest that you’ll pay is based on the interest rate that you received at the time of loan origination, how much you borrowed and the term of the loan. If you borrow $208,800 at 3.62% then over the course of a 30-year loan you will pay $133,793.14 in interest, assuming you make the monthly payment of $951.65. For a purchase mortgage rate get a quote here. If you are looking to refinance you can get started quickly here.


How much should I save for a down payment on a house?


Most lenders will recommend that you save at least 20% of the cost of the home for a down payment. It is wise to save at least 20% because the more you put down, the lower your monthly payment will be and ultimately you will save on interest costs as well. In the event that you are unable to save 20% there are several home buyer programs and assistance, especially for first time buyers. Check out the lenders that specialize in making the home buying experience a breeze.

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About Melinda Sineriz

Melinda specializes in writing about mortgages. student loans, personal loans, insurance, managing credit and debt, and credit cards.